Legend Actress, Former Tamilnadu CM Jayalalithaa’s 74th birth anniversary is on 24 February. Jayalalithaa was more than just a politician, actress, philanthropist but a peoples’ person, godly followed in her home state Tamil Nadu, where she remained chief minister for more than 14 years (1991-2016). Being a successful actress who came into prominence in the mid-1960s, she worked in almost 140 movies between 1961-1980 primarily in Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada languages. She entered into politics and joined AIADMK in 1982 when MG Ramachandran was Tamil Nadu’s chief minister.
Entering politics, Jayalalithaa’s career moved swiftly and in a few years, she became AIADMK propaganda secretary and was elected to the Rajya Sabha. Jayalalithaa, after MGR’s death in 1987, proclaimed herself his political heir after she fought off the faction headed by VN Janaki Ramachandran, widow of MGR. Jayalalithaa became the sole leader of AIADMK and leader of the opposition after the 1989 assembly election against DMK -led government headed by M Karunanidhi. Jayalalithaa’s maiden speeches ‘Pennin Perumai’ was praised by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Rajya Sabha member Khushwant Singh, who also witnessed her speech.
At the age of 41, Jayalalithaa entered the assembly successfully contesting the subsequent 1989 elections on the basis of being MGR’s political heir. In 1991, Jayalalithaa become the youngest woman chief minister of the state after AIADMK in alliance with Congress won the election. Jayalalithaa became the first woman chief minister to serve a full term. In 2016, Jayalalithaa’s health took a turn for the worse when she suffered a cardiac arrest and was admitted to Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. She was under treatment for around 3 months. Amma passed away at 11.30 p.m. on December 5, 2016, at the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai when she was 68.